Chairman's Press

05.18.15

32 Senators Urge FDA to Provide Clarity to Businesses Before Enforcing Menu Labeling Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) led a bipartisan group of 32 senators in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide clarity to businesses before requiring compliance with its final rule requiring chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments to provide nutrition information on all standard menu items. The FDA's final rule was made public on December 1, 2014, and is currently s… Continue Reading


05.14.15

Alexander to NLRB Chair: Board Seems to be Moving to Undermine State Right-to-Work Laws

*** "I've seen over the last 30 years how our right-to-work law has attracted the auto industry to our state, created competitive industry, good jobs, helped families. … I'm very concerned that this request for briefs on law that has been settled for years suggests to me that the board is thinking about undermining a state like Tennessee's ability to have a right-to-work law." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today q… Continue Reading


05.13.15

Bipartisan Student Loan Reforms Drop Student Loan Rates for Next School Year

WASHINGTON, May 13 - Nearly 8 million undergraduate students next year will see their student loan rates drop from 4.66 percent to 4.29 percent, saving borrowers millions of dollars in interest, according to senators who sponsored the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Joe Manchin (D-Va.) sponsored the legislation that tied student loans to market rates. It became law on August 9, 2013. Senator Ale… Continue Reading


05.13.15

36 Senate Republicans Urge Labor Department to Give Public More Time to Weigh in on Proposed Rule that Could Restrict Access to Retirement Advice

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate labor committee, led a group of 36 Senate Republicans today in a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez requesting an extension of the comment period from 75 days to 120 days on the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed rule to redefine and expand the term "fiduciary," which was posted on April 20. In the letter, the senators request sufficient time for "thorough consideration of all issues and interes… Continue Reading


05.12.15

Senators Introduce Port Transparency Bill in Wake of Prolonged West Coast Ports Strife

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), along with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) today introduced common sense sunshine reforms as a part of S. 1298 to help with early identification of port disruptions caused by labor strife or other factors before they inflict serious damage on businesses and the broader U.S. econom… Continue Reading


05.08.15

Alexander: Congress Showing Bipartisan Interest in “Weeding the Garden” of Bad Laws, Regulations

* * * "Nothing used to make me madder as governor than to look up towards Washington and see some member of Congress coming up with a big idea, holding a press conference, passing a law, taking credit for some great leap forward in sending the bill to me as governor. Then the next thing I know, that congressman would be home in Tennessee at the Lincoln Day Dinner or the Jackson Day Dinner giving a big speech about local control." -- Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8 - In a keynote speec… Continue Reading


05.07.15

Alexander, Lankford Begin Investigation into Federal Agencies’ Use of Regulatory Guidance

*** "We are concerned that federal agencies are increasingly using guidance that appears to create new requirements without the benefit of notice and comment but with the expectation that the public comply." - Senators' letter to agencies WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) today began an investigation into federal agencies' use of guidance, looking into whether agencies are skirting notice and comment laws to create new requirements … Continue Reading


05.06.15

Alexander and Bennet Introduce Resolution Recognizing 16th Annual National Charter Schools Week

Washington, D.C., May 6 - Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) along with 21 cosponsors, this week introduced a resolution congratulating the students, parents, teachers, and administrators of charter schools across the nation, expressing strong support for public charter schools and marking the 16th annual National Charter Schools Week, which lasts from May 3 to 9 this year. Alexander said: "Charter schools now serve nearly 3 million children throughout the country and… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Alexander: Federal Government Better at Collecting Data from Colleges and Universities than Explaining it to Students

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the government has done a better job of collecting information from colleges and universities than it has in sharing that information with students, and suggested that the federal government should enable its dissemination, rather than try to do it itself. "How do we encourage the dissemination of this information in useful ways? Our temptation often is, 'well here's a problem, we'll fix it.' And we don't fix that… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Senate, House Committee Leaders Urge Passage of Legislation to End NLRB’s Ambush Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6 - After Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a simple up or down vote to override President Obama's veto of a Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) ambush election rule, Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.), Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and House Health, Employment, L… Continue Reading


05.05.15

Senate Democrats Block Vote on Overriding Veto of Resolution to Stop Ambush Elections Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 2015 - Senate Democrats today refused to allow the United States Senate to vote on overriding the president's veto of a Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the National Labor Relations Board's ambush election rule. A Senate majority voted to stop the rule on March 4. A House majority voted to stop the rule on March 19. The president vetoed the resolution on March 31 and Senate Democrats have objected to a simple up or down vote to override this veto. … Continue Reading


05.05.15

Alexander: Failing Electronic Health Records Program May Stand in Way of Precision Medicine

"Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National institutes of Health, has told us that a properly functioning records system is essential both to help assemble the genomes of one million individuals and for doctors to be able to use a patient's genetic information when they write a prescription for individual patients." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the "failed promise" of the $28 billion electronic health records program may st… Continue Reading


05.04.15

Alexander Honors Teacher Appreciation Week

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate education committee, today released the following statement recognizing "Teacher Appreciation Week," being celebrated this week: "This week we honor the 3.4 million teachers who work so hard each day so our nation's children can succeed. It doesn't take long to figure out how important a great teacher is, and as the son of a former teacher, I know firsthand the impact teachers have on a child's ability to … Continue Reading


04.30.15

Senate Health Committee Republicans Urge FDA to Provide Clarity, Certainty on Biosimilar Drug Approval Process

WASHINGTON, April 30 - Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today led a group of nine Republicans on the Senate health committee in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately finalize all guidance regarding the approval of biosimilar drugs. Alexander was joined by Sens. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Bill Cassidy, M.D., (R-La.) in calling for f… Continue Reading


04.29.15

Alexander Statement on Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling that Puts Check on EEOC

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must take steps to reconcile discrimination complaints before suing employers: "The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision put a check on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's runaway litigation strategy. The EEOC is required by law to attempt to work out discrimination complaints befo… Continue Reading


04.29.15

Alexander, Murray Announce Working Group to Identify Ways to Improve Electronic Health Records

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced a bipartisan, full committee working group to identify ways to improve electronic health records (EHRs). "After $28 billion in taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing electronic health records, ‎doctors don't like these electronic medical record systems and say they disrupt workflow, interrupt the doctor-patient relationship and haven't been worth the… Continue Reading


04.28.15

Alexander: FDA and NIH Must be Ready for the Medical Breakthroughs that are Coming

* * * "Our task is to help ensure that the exciting new technologies being developed and discoveries being made are reaching patients, and that the NIH is equipped to support the early-stage research required to make these advancements and that the FDA is equipped to review them." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help Congress in it… Continue Reading


04.21.15

Alexander Says He Will Fight NLRB Attempt to Undermine State Right-to-Work Laws

Says Board action is an "outrageous move that will jeopardize worker rights and job growth" * * * WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) request for legal briefs to examine the question of whether employees in right-to-work states should be forced to pay union fees, even if they are not a member of their workplace's union: "I will fight any effort by the NLRB to f… Continue Reading


04.21.15

Strong Support for Bipartisan Legislative Agreement to “Fix No Child Left Behind”

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21 - The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, introduced earlier this month by Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to fix "No Child Left Behind," last week passed the committee unanimously and is receiving broad support from governors, chief state school officers, teachers, school board members, and school superintendents. According to Sen. Alexander, "The consensus the committee reached is this: Continue … Continue Reading


04.16.15

Alexander: Unanimous Committee Passage of Bipartisan Agreement to Fix No Child Left Behind Shows Consensus on Urgent Need to Fix the Law and How to Fix It

* * * "The consensus that the committee found is the same that Senator Murray and I found. That consensus is this: Continue the law's important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16 - Senate education committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today praised the work of the committee in a… Continue Reading

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